New hair

You may, or may not, have noticed that I haven't had my hair coloured in a while.  I have made no secret about the fact the grey pubes were taking over.  But... I was in a hair quandary.  I was procrastinating over what to have done, finding the time to do it and basically something else better or more important always came up and I just put it off. 

So when I was asked if I would try the brand new colour service that L'Oreal Professionnel have just bought out, it galvanised me into action.  For a start off - I am terrified when it comes to colouring my hair.   Naturally I am very dark and I DID used to - years ago - do a good old box from Boots to cover the first few greys but a strong brunette and ageing skin were not a flattering look for me.  

Which is why five years ago I went down the salon colouring route.  Lighter highlights have helped to mask the grey and have given a softer tone which works better with skin which has lived a good life. 

But then, as I have always found inevitable with highlights, I ended up essentially blonde. 

Not the plan Stan.  Maybe one of the reasons why I have procrastinated about having my colour done for the past 4 and a half months as I haven't known what to do. 

Until now.  All hail L'Oreal Professionnel Instant Highlights. 

So - at this point, I just want to interject and explain why they're called that.  As essentially, they're not highlights as we know them.  In France, they use the word "highlights" to mean going lighter or blonder.  Whereas in the UK, "highlights" is an actual technique, like balayage or ombre.  

Therefore what we're really looking to achieve with this new technique, aren't necessarily highlights as we know them, but lighter tones in the hair.  

It's easier to "see it", so... as if by magic, here are ones they did earlier (these are not me, in case anyone thinks the instant highlights can also do instant rolling back of about 20 years..).  These are the sorts of looks you can achieve... there are different options to choose from, although during your consultation with your colourist, they'll be able to put together a bespoke solution for you, which may mean a combination of a couple of the options.

Instacontouring - which is customised face framing

Instarevive - to touch up any grown out highlights

And instalights - soft highlights 

So what is the process?  Well, the experts from L'Oreal explain as...

"A unique lighting system composed of three parts; a heating iron, a lightening cream and aluminium foil"

What this actually mean is you can create highlights in seconds. 

And damage you ask?  Well, the tool has a separator so the plates never touch and the foil is thicker than regular foils used in highlights.

Here is a picture of the products that are used in the process.  And NO this is not a straightening iron, no it's not tin foil and no, you obviously can't do this at home! 

That's the technical bit over and done with, now down to what we all really want to know.  What are the advantages?

  • Time.  As it says above, these take less than half the time compared to having traditional highlights. Not only do you have less foils in your hair, there is no development time.
  • Commitment.  As the lights don't start at the root, they won't grow out, again like the traditional highlights.  If you do have greys that need covering, you may need to have a separate colour on them (I had a tint this time as my greys were baaaaaaaaaaad) every 6 to 8 weeks.  
  • Less colour in your hair.  So I'm loathe to say that this is a healthier technique, as any colour in your hair is going to damage it.  But because you have less product and have it less often, on an ongoing basis, there will ultimately be less damage to your hair. 
  • More natural.  As you're not drastically changing the colour of your hair, just enhancing what you already have, it does give a more natural look.  It's ideal for those of you who, like me, have too much colour, it has becomes blocky and you want to go back to a closer version of your natural hair colour, with just some lights to add interest and lift.
  • Transformation. You may be the person who just has a cut and blowdry in the salon but has always pondered some colour.  However has it seemed just too much like hard work?  Ponder no longer - this is for you.  In no time at all you could literally transform your look.  Trust me!
But surely the most exciting but - before, during and after? 

As you can see, my colour had become very solid where I have had highlights over the years.  And verging on blonde.  Except as I hadn't had the colour done in a while (this is no reflection on the treatments I have had in the past - this is just what bleach does to my hair if I don't look after it and give it some love, care and attention), you can see it's faded to that gingery tinge, as opposed to a warm caramel.

During - this is with the tint on and some of the foils in and the iron being used.  I just want to point out that the iron plates don't touch each other when closed onto the foil - they just transfer heat to develop the colour.

And this is the complete result with 14 foils in total throughout the hair, a combination of instarevive and instalights.

I am over the moon with the results.  Seriously pleased and am loving being a brunette again with a hint of caramel to give that sunkissed look.  I felt I was in that sticky patch of too many highlights that I didn't know how to remedy.  Mission accomplished. 

I had my treatment with Anna at Daniel Galvin at Selfridges who I can't recommend highly enough.  However there are salons throughout the country who offer the service - to find out if there's one near you and to contact for prices, here is the Salon Locator (scroll down the page and it's on the bottom left - just pop your location in).

Finishing with my outfit from Tuesday.  Pre hair obvs...

Dress - Gestuz from ASOS (current)
Blazer - Alexa Chung at M&S (aw16)
Boots - Mango (current)
Bag - Hill & Friends (gift aw16)
Earrings - Atterley (ss17)

Any questions at all - please, please do ask as I have spent a long time discussing this and if I can't answer them, I know a woman who can...

This post was written as part of a paid partnership with L'Oreal Professionnel and they paid for my treatment.  All opinions are my own, unedited.

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13 comentarios:

  1. Where was this about three/ four years ago?
    I was so determined not to go the blond route (I'm a brunette too), that I gradually stopped with high/ low lights and am now past that in betweeny stage and am a brunette with silver highlights. There's no doubt it was a hard slog, and I'm although I'm through the other side, it would have been an easier transition with something like this. This seems so much easier than deciding on new colours every single time I had my colour done (which was helped by a hairdresser who was on board with me not wanting to be a blond, and actually wanting to embrace the grey).

  2. I might be dense here...but can't find he link to salon locations? ��

    1. Here! It's linked in the blog above but hopefully you might be able to click on this..

  3. I've been home colouring my hair for a while now and it's been working surprisingly well but I was considering going to an actual salon as my balayage is starting to grow out and I'm not sure what to do now :D So, this seems the perfect option for me. However, clearly a sign that I'm not hair enough motivated (I have super rubbish hair) I can't see the difference with yours. I can see you've had your roots done and been salon styled and looks fab but if you'd told me you'd just done the roots and had a cut and blow dry I'd have definitely believed you... What am I missing?? xx

    1. I was thinking exactly the same, I'm afraid. It's often difficult to see in photos, I guess, but it looks the same.

  4. What's the situation price wise?

  5. I love your new colour! It looks fresh and glossy!

  6. You could achieve the same effect with a full head colour and more traditional highlights just placed differently - not saying it's a bad idea as the speed thing is obvs great. You might find the tint washes out fairly quickly where you have been bleached earlier cos the hair is more porous but as the old highlighted areas grow out that will get better. (not a hairdresser but best mate is and I'm a lifelong bleacher/ highlighter) It looks lovely

  7. Hi Kat - looks gorgeous! I’m definitely trying this but doesn’t look like there’s anyone doing this service near me just yet :( Do you have a permanent or semi perm tint on your roots? Thanks

  8. Sheryl MackenzieMonday, 19 March, 2018

    love your hair Kat, looks so fresh and healthy. i am the opposite, naturally blonde but went brunette which ironically everyone says suits me but now at the stage where the top is grey and the brunette is too dark for me now and finding it ageing but dont want to be blonde either. will look in to this and see if its viable for my hair. thanks.

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